Skip to main content

Sony CEO Kaz Hirai decides to step down after six-year tenure

Kaz Hirai at CES 2016
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends
Sony CEO Hirai Kazuo, best known outside of Japan as Kaz Hirai, will step down from his role at the company on April 1, 2018. His successor is current Chief Financial Officer Yoshida Kenichiro. Hirai will not leave Sony, but will instead take on the role of director and chairman at that time. The decision came from Hirai himself, and his proposal was approved by Sony’s board of directors on February 2.

In a statement, Hirai says, “As the company approaches a crucial juncture, when we will embark on a new midrange plan, I consider this to be the ideal time to pass the baton of leadership to new management, for the future of Sony and also for myself to embark on a new chapter in my life.”

Hirai became CEO in 2012, but was well known before then as president of Sony Computer Entertainment, during which time he turned the PlayStation brand around and returned it to success. According to Hirai he has been working closely with Yoshida since late 2013, who has been a “valuable confidant and business partner,” and the pair took on, “the challenge of transforming Sony together.” “As chairman,” Hirai continues, “I will offer my full support to Mr Yoshida and the new management team.”

Yoshida became CFO in April 2014, around the same time Sony faced damaging scandals after hackers exposed emails revealing private information about the company, its staff, and future plans. In an interview with the Financial Times in December 2014, Yoshida is described as “straight-talking,” and with a “reputation for being ‘blunt’ and ‘ruthless’ when it comes to achieving targets.” He was instrumental in changing the way Sony Entertainment was managed, and in making other decisions key to turning around Sony’s fortunes.

In Sony’s official statement, Yoshida says, “Together with the outstanding talent we have across the Sony Group, I will aim to build on the business foundations established by Mr. Hirai, and execute further reform measures that enhance our competitiveness as a global enterprise, and enable us to realize long-term profit growth.”

Yoshida’s first order of business will be to finalize Sony’s plans for the near future, and to put its 2018 plan into action. Hirai has not announced any future plans beyond his role as chairman at Sony.

Editors' Recommendations

Andy Boxall
Andy is a Senior Writer at Digital Trends, where he concentrates on mobile technology, a subject he has written about for…
The 5 best tax software suites for individuals in 2024
Turbotax on smartphone

While you could always go out and try to file your taxes on your own, let's face the facts and admit that you'll feel more secure when you use tax software designed for individuals. There's a much lower chance that you'll forget something important when a program guides you through the process, and you might even score a bigger tax refund than you were expecting when a program searches for things likely to help you.

But nowadays there are so many tax software creators out there, vying for your attention. And almost all of them seem to be offering something for free. How is the user experience, though? And do they offer professional tax advice when you have a unique situation that doesn't fit perfectly in a dropdown box? Getting the best tax software filing suite for your circumstance is important, but which one will that be?
The best tax software

Read more
How to increase your internet speed in 7 easy steps
Man working at a desk at home.

Nothing is more frustrating than having to contend with a slow internet connection. Fortunately, though, there are some things you can do to improve matters. Before you reach for your phone to upgrade your internet plan, give these 7 tips a try:

Reset your router
Manage your Wi-Fi channels
Remove signal-hogging devices from your network
Use an Ethernet connection
'Flush' your DNS
Switch to a faster browser
Add an extension to manage your cache

Read more
The 18 best VPN services for 2024, reviewed by experts
best VPN services

These days more and more of our daily lives and everyday tasks are conducted online. Which means that it only becomes increasingly imperative that you prioritize ensuring that your financial and personal information is protected from cybercriminals. Protecting yourself from identity theft or even hackers can seem daunting, but it doesn't have to be. Take it one step at a time.

And your first step can be something as simple as using a virtual private network (VPN). The good news is that a reliable VPN is one of the easiest, cheapest, and most effective ways to safeguard your online activities from unwanted network intruders.

Read more